Aug 162016


I cannot even get in the head of the people who design Olympic sports. What are they thinking? They are so random and so strangely ill-fitted that it seems as if they were designed by children. Or worse, a committee. Of children.

For instance, there are so many swimming competitions. Look at me! I’m swimming on my stomach! (Quick, give that guy a medal!) Now I am swimming on my back! (Another medal) Now I am swimming on my stomach again, but differently! (A different medal!).

Swimming all by itself awards 33 gold medals. Not even counting diving or synchronized swimming which get their own completely separate sets of medals and events. 33!

Meanwhile, there is only one Basketball. Just one. Either you play Basketball or you do not. In the spirit of swimming, shouldn’t be medals for half-court teams too? And one-on-one? And H.O.R.S.E.? But no. The whole sport gets only one medal.

Then there are the sports that sound like something you could do, maybe while holding a beer in one hand, until you actually see someone playing at the Olympic level. These sports may not sound very Olympic but they are incredible well-played.

  • Table tennis
  • Badminton

You should make time to watch these events once, even if only for a few moments. It is quite eye-opening. I don’t think I could earn a single point against one of these players, not even if I was given all day, not even if they had a beer in one hand.

It makes one wonder, what would happen if croquet was made an Olympic sport? Is there a country somewhere that is crazy about croquet? In the way that China is apparently crazy about ping pong? Would there be elite Croquet athletes performing incredible feats of athletic malleting and wicketing?

Or horse shoes? Or cornhole?

As long as we are on the subject, why are these Olympic sports at all?

  • In Triple Jump, a runner also jumps. Or maybe a jumper also runs? There are specific lines where the runner/jumper has to stride. It is hopscotch on an adult scale. It is … really a strange sport. Why did this make it in, but three-legged races did not? Why does Triple Jump exist, but Double Jump does not? Or Quadruple Jump? It all seems so arbitrary.
  • Steeplechase is one that seems as if someone made a dare – “I could beat you around the track even if I had to jump a barrier and run through water” – and somehow that dare made it into the Olympics. I guess I could feel the Steeplechase a little more if they livened it up. Make the athletes jump through flaming hoops and thread their way through shark-infested acid swamps. Now that would be an Olympic-level sport!
  • Track Cycling may be the strangest of all. I had to sit through half an hour of this while getting my hair cut. A couple dozen guys on high-performance bikes driving around a wooden track. Riders wander up and down the bank of the track without any apparent strategy or reason. Every now and then someone rings a bell and then everyone goes extra fast and points are awarded, somehow, for something. It is like NASCAR in that everyone only turns left, and there are wrecks. Except with random point awards.

I could make up any of these games. I probably did when I was a kid. But the ones I made up are not in the Olympics and these are.

Meanwhile, baseball/softball is not an Olympic sport? (Although that is changing in 2020) Cricket is not an Olympic sport. Australian Rules Football is not a sport. Horse riding while dressed up extra fancy is an Olympic sport. Horse racing is not.

Could you make this up yourself? I am pretty imaginative but no, this is way beyond me. Advanced nonsense to a degree that probably no one can generate; it has to evolve over a century as a series of committees make weird indefensible decisions that result in the random hodgepodge of medal sports we have today.

But it is kind of cool that reasonably fit 52-year-olds can still win an Olympic medal.

In the spirit of giving 52-year-olds everywhere a chance at their own gold medal, I propose these Olympic additions:

16-ounce curls
Lawn Jarts

Now that would be Olympic!

🙂 😀 🙂

  7 Responses to “Not Very Olympic Moments”

Comments (7)
  1. Croquet used to be an Olympic sport 🙂 Also, town planning and poetry 😀

  2. Cornhole! Beer pong! Uhh, uhh….something else with an exclamation point!

  3. I miss Tug of War. The world seems a lonelier place without music composition and art…. sigh. 🙁

  4. As a member of a marching band, I demand that the Marching Band become an Olympic sport, played EXACTLY half-way through the games.
    I also propose that mini golf be added to the sports.

  5. In answer (partially, anyway) as to why the “triple jump” is a sport, and “double jump” or “quadruple jump” is not, is that “triple jump” used to be known as the “hop, skip, and jump” (and there is yet to be a two or four jump competition with such a “cool” moniker). It also explains why the competitors look like they are, um…hopping, and, um…skipping down the track.

    “Steeplechase” is interesting – not sure how it evolved from the traditional, horse-racing steeplechase…guess maybe someone said, “Hey! Let’s do that, but without the horses – just make the competitors run on their own through all that stuff.” Either that or someone lost a bet – that’s usually how these things get started, right?

    As to why “not horse racing”, well, I suppose maybe because horse racing would be more about the horses than the jockeys. And why should we start giving medals to horses? I mean, next thing you’ll want is to give cows medals for the being good steaks…

    {I just made myself hungry for a good steak…}

  6. No cows; Only Zuul, er… I mean Oxen. Our oxen could be part of a Bake and Toss, in conjunction with the discus event. I did this numerous times on visits to the cousin’s farm as a “child”. No clue? Look up cow chip throwing. Good fuel in a pinch as well 😉

  7. Baseball has come and gone, too, by the way. They had it in Athens a few times back, at least.

What do you think?

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